Posted on | July 1, 2012 | 8 Comments
Know what this means?
Well, yes, it does mean we finally convinced Big to cut his hair for summer. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
It means when we came up from the garden we were happy. Very happy. Because as it turns out…..get ready…..you are going to be excited….YOU ACTUALLY CAN GROW POTATOES IN THE GARDEN!!!
I know for years I have been telling you that people who say they can grow potatoes are liars. That they are making up that stuff about growing them in leaves or plastic bags or in compost bins. That growing your own potatoes is some ridiculous gardening myth like a weed barrier cloth that actually stops weeds or plants that deer do not eat.
I have planted potatoes for years. The little green potato plants sprout from the ground. They grow a little bit taller every time we mulch them. Then they die. And we dig up the plants. And there are no potatoes. None. Zero. Zip Nada.
It’s some kind of sick joke by Mother Nature. Which makes me want to sprinkle the ground with salt to teach her a lesson. Except I tried that one time—sprinkling salt on a patch of weeds that kept coming up in the gravel driveway. Because everyone knows that salt kills plants and makes the ground unsuitable for plant growth for the next 2000 years or something. Except the weeds grew right back. And asked for a margarita.
Apparently, myths are as popular with gardeners as they were with the Greeks.
But despite years of failure, I planted potatoes again this spring. Primarily because I had a patch of garden left after I planted all the other veggies. If I didn’t plant something there, I’d just have to weed it. Since salt doesn’t actually kill weeds, I’d have to weed it by hand. I figured planting potatoes was the easier option. So I broke up the soil a bit, tossed down some potato starts, and covered them with straw. I watered it and then left it alone. Except for that incident when the potatoes broke the lawnmower, I didn’t have to mess with them.
This week, the potato plants started to wither and die. I figured the 100 degree temperatures had killed them off and started to pull them up.
Which is when a potato popped out of the soil and fell on my foot. I was shocked. I began digging through the straw and found to my surprise….FREAKING POTATOES!
Apparently I had no idea how potatoes grow. I always imagined them growing single file along a vine, like watermelon. But my potatoes were growing in clumps near the base of the wilted plants. Some were big and some were small. We harvested the big ones and left the little ones to keep growing. At least I think they’ll keep growing. I really have no idea. All I know is I GREW POTATOES! So many potatoes that Big and I had to carry them up in our shirts.
Now if the chickens would do a little more of this (laying eggs):
And less of this (hatching chicks):
….we’ll be making some home grown potato salad. It can be so hard to get everything working well at the same time. But who cares. I GREW POTATOES!